mybeerbuzz Left Coast Report - Port Brewing Real Ale Festival

20 June 2008

The highlight of my west coast beer wandering was the Port Brewing Real Ale Festival. So what is a Real Ale festival you ask....well it's very simple (and very yummy). "Real Ale" includes cask conditioned hand pumped beers and bottle conditioned beers ONLY.

Before we go any further, click on the first photo above....after you're done, drooling, wetting your pants and passing out, I'll explain....OK are you done? OK go ahead...click on it and look again...I'll wait....

You are looking at a rack of hand-pumps. That line continues beyond what you can see in the photo and around the corner and back up another wall. You are looking at 56 individual hand-pumps!

You're going to need time to stop hyper-ventilating so I'll start slow. Your admission gets you a pint glass (yes a pint glass) with a tiny little line at the bottom that says 4oz. Get a good look at that 4oz line, because you'll never see it again. These guys are "generous". So what about the beers you say....well rather than list all 56 pumps I'll list a few and let you scour the signs in the 2nd photo. Highlights: Alpine Brewing Pure Hoppiness (8% ABV), Avery Brewing Uber Schwein (9.2% ABV), Backstreet Brewery Molly's Request Oak Aged Baltic Porter (9% ABV), Green Flash Grand Cru (9% ABV), Hollister Brewing Bowling & Beyond (8.5% ABV), Lagunitas Hop Stoopid (9.5% ABV), Moylans Hopsickle Imperial IPA (9.2% ABV), Port Brewing Doheny Double IPA (9.1% ABV), Port Brewing Old Viscosity (10.5% ABV), Speakeasy Old Godfather (10% ABV), Stone Imperial Russian Stout (10.2% ABV), Stone Vertical 7 (8.4% ABV), Stone Belgian Chocolate Stout (9.3% ABV), Alesmith Double Coffee Speedway Stout (12%), Lost Abbey Angel's Share (12.5% ABV) and Firestone Walker Brewing Parabola (which we named Paralysis)---13%ABV!

Have I said enough? Well I guess I should mention the VIP pass that also got us samples of 21 additional bottle conditioned beers like t'SMisje Guido (with mustard seeds), Daleside Monkey Wrench, De Proef Signature Ale, Fullers Vintage Ale 2007, Lost Abbey Isabella Proximus, Bink Tripel, Alvinne Podge Imperial Stout, Unibroue 15th Anniversary and Achilles Serafijn Celtic Angel.

I'll never be able to describe what an amazing collection of beers this was.....so I'll just say two things....1) WOW! and 2) This is an ANNUAL festival....anyone interested?

11 comments (click to read or post):

Anonymous,  19 June, 2008 10:45  

Holy mackerel!!! I've been wanting to try the FW Parabola for quite some time. I sure hope some Isabella Proximus makes it's way to PA as well...

Jason

mybeerbuzz,  19 June, 2008 13:34  

Yes..the Paralysis (I mean Parabola) was great, and very drinkable for a 13% beer. (I had two "samples") They had the Proximus in bottles and hand pump...both pretty amazing. Not sure if it will make it back to PA or the east coast though.

Anonymous,  19 June, 2008 13:36  

WOW.....look at all the hand pumps!! I've never seen so many!

JK

mybeerbuzz,  19 June, 2008 13:51  

There were so many beers/handles you actually had to order by hand pump number...pretty amazing.

grees20,  19 June, 2008 13:56  

Sounds like an amazing trip. I've been trying to talk a couple of my friends into a California beer trip next year.

Anonymous,  19 June, 2008 14:43  

I've always heard that's the premier hand-pump festival in the country....Your pohot and write-up have convinced me that it is. Nice write-up & love your site & I want to get out to Calif.

Greg

mybeerbuzz,  19 June, 2008 14:57  

Yes it was an amazing trip and amazing festival. We stayed in the SoCal area and there were a few more micro's we could have done and a ton more micro/restuarants we could have hit also. Very cool area for beer, but the Real Ale festival was definitely the highlight. This was the 11th annual Real Ale festival, and they DO claim it to be the best hand-pump festival in the country....and it appears to be getting bigger each year.

Anonymous,  19 June, 2008 15:41  

Holy-handpumps. I don't think we have that many handpumps total in our area. Look forward to more photos. By the way, love your site...this area needed a local beer blog and yours is the best.
brian

mybeerbuzz,  19 June, 2008 15:43  

Thanks and yes I do plan to put out more photos....although I've honestly been trying to avoid any photos with the drunk "me" in them and there appear to be quite a few...

Anonymous,  20 June, 2008 11:00  

Incredible...please do add more photos. What a great tap list and ALL on handpumps. Thanks & nice site. I just found you this week and I'll be checking back frequently now.

mybeerbuzz,  20 June, 2008 23:49  

Thanks...will do...

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